Lucknow: BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday said that besides the repealing of the three farm laws, there are many issues of farmers that need to be resolved as a large number of them gathered for a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' to press their demands for a legal guarantee for MSP, among other things.
"It seems that after announcing repealing of the three farm laws, the government does not want to speak to the farmers. The government should make it clear that it has repealed the laws in the true sense and talk to us so that we can start moving to our villages," Tikait told PTI at the Eco Garden the venue for the 'mahapanchayat'.
The 'mahapanchayat' has been called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of the agitating farmer unions. It was planned months before Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced repealing the contentious farm laws. The SKM, at a meeting in Delhi on Sunday, decided to stick to the date.
A large number of farmers at the Maha Panchayat came from Lakhimpur Kheri and the issue of the October 3 incident in which four farmers were allegedly mowed down by an SUV belonging to Union Minister Ajay Misra Teni's son Ashish Misra, figured prominently at the Maha Panchayat.
The farmers demanded the dismissal and arrest of the minister who is also an accused in the case. His son Ashish Misra is already in jail.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said that he had learnt that the government was bringing a new policy on dairy development and the farmers wanted that they should be consulted on the issue. The issues of MSP, seeds, dairy and pollution need to be resolved, Tikait said.
More than 750 farmers, mostly from Punjab, died during the protest against the farm laws, he claimed.
Shekhar Dixit, president of Rashtriya Kisan Manch, said, "The PM made the announcement about repealing of farm laws with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections in UP and other states, where the BJP is seeing power slipping away from its hands." Despite the prime minister's surprise announcement, farmer leaders have maintained the protesters won't budge until the three contentious laws are formally repealed in Parliament.
SKM leader from Uttarakhand Gurpreet Sukia said farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have come to participate in the 'Kisan Mahapanchayat'.
The SKM has put forth six demands before the government. Besides legal guarantee for minimum support price, the farmers demand include land at Singhu border for a memorial in memory of farmers who had lost their lives during the agitation and compensation for the families of deceased farmers.
The other demands included the withdrawal of the Power Regulation Amendment Bill, withdrawal of all cases related to the Delhi border agitation and stubble burning.
The next meeting of the farmers would be held on Delhi borders on November 26.